Ruto woos MPs from Uhuru’s Central backyard

Thursday, June 24th, 2021 00:00 | By
Youths and supporters of United Democratic Alliance from Baringo county enjoy a light moment during a familiarisation tour the party headquarters in Nairobi, yesterday. Photo/COURTESY

The political war pitting President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto intensified yesterday after the latter raided his boss’s Mt Kenya backyard and walked away with four lawmakers.

Two of the MPs who joined the the second in command’s camp as he seeks to advance his 2022 State House ambitions, are from the President’s home county of Kiambu.

Kiambu Woman Representative Gathoni wa Muchomba, who has been an ardent member of the Kieleweke team that supports Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga, Githunguri MP Kago wa Lydia, who was initially in Ruto’s Tanga Tanga camp before taking a low profile, his Nakuru East counterpart David Gikaria and Samuel Gachobe of Subukia decamped to the “Hustler movement” even as it emerged that three governors and more MPs from the larger region are likely to follow suit as they seek to advance their re-election bids.

Region to back Ruto bid

The DP has been keen to make significant in-roads in Mt Kenya region where until the March 9, 2018, Handshake between Uhuru and Raila, appeared locked in favour of his 2013 deal with the President.

It was previously anticipated that the region would automatically back Ruto’s bid to succeed his boss in next year’s General Election.

Yesterday, Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro, an acerbic surrogate of the DP, claimed that some governors, serving MPs and senators from Mt Kenya region and other high-ranking government officials with political ambitions were in the Hustler camp “but were backing Uhuru during the day for obvious reasons”.

“The so-called system succeeded in silencing leaders using state apparatus but they have no equipment or method to diminish what is in their hearts. Expect more major transfers by August.

Even some governors are now getting restless. The regime has tattered our economy, and intimidated leaders but they will know they don’t know,” the MP claimed.

Besides a hostile environment against the Kieleweke side, sources revealed that alleged misuse of some politicians by colleagues and some top government officials, being shortchanged in the running of local programmes as well as alleged victimisation have angered some of the lawmakers in the Uhuru camp.

“In the Kieleweke camp, there is no appreciation and respect. They are users.

Some of Uhuru’s henchmen who include state officials want you to keep working in their favour but they do not care about your welfare and political wellbeing.

They are chasing their selfish interests. For that reason, expect more leaders to bolt from our camp because only a few people are benefiting at the expense of others whose grounds are becoming hostile by the day,” a source within the Kieleweke camp told People Daily.

Wa Muchomba, who is has been grappling with a hostile home environment, said her move to back the DP whom she had spent months disparaging, was prompted by a series of meetings with her supporters in Kiambu and also analysing the ground where all the odds, according to her, were in favour of Ruto who has fallen out with Uhuru over the 2022 succession politics.

“I have not left the Jubilee Party. That is the party that took me to Parliament.

What I have done is that I have switched allegiance to William Ruto because that is where Kiambu people are.

Numbers don’t lie, the numbers that we saw in Juja are the true reflection of the people and the numbers that we will see in Kiambaa will be a reflection of the people.

I had kept a low profile and during that period I held over 100 meetings with my supporters who told me that I was in the wrong camp,” she told People Daily yesterday.

Kiambaa by-election

The MP was referring to the Juja by-election where Jubilee’s Susan Njeri, the widow of former area MP Francis Waititu, lost to George Koimburi, a diehard Uhuru supporter who was forced to hop to Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria’s Peoples Empowerment Party, and the Kiambaa by-election where Jubilee’s Kariri Njama is facing off with United Democratic Alliance’s Njuguna wa Wanjiku.

Wa Muchomba’s move to join the DP comes after months of taking a low profile in national politics, and days after her suggestive Facebook post in which she appeared to chide the President when it was reported in the media that he supports one of the Nasa leaders in 2022.

Sources told People Daily that Wa Muchomba who is Uhuru’s home county Woman Rep, and who was a beneficiary of last year’s purge against the DP allies in parliament when she took over the leadership of KEWOPA and was also appointed vice chair of the lucrative roads committee, was unhappy, asserting that her strong support for Kieleweke was not beneficial to her politically.

Contacted, Githunguri MP who is out of the country told People Daily the image of him and the DP, which surfaced yesterday, was “a long time photo” but added, “though I am team Hustler”.

Wa Muchomba and Kago’s public defections brings the number of Kiambu MPs openly allied to Ruto to six since he has been having the support of Moses Kuria (Gatundu South), Patrick Wainaina (Thika Town), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) and his Kabete counterpart Githua wa Machukuru.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu, the founder of the Kieleweke brigade, said it would not be surprising if their camp loses more members to the Hustler camp after the four MPs.

He said Wa Muchomba’s defection should be a warning and a lesson to Uhuru’s backers.

“As things stand I will not be surprised if we lose another one or two more valuable players.

We have some heavy lifting ahead to fix our party and not everyone will want to do it. For those of us who still believe in Jubilee this is a lesson and a warning,” the MP said.

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